Six Tasmanians named in 30-player NAB AFL National Academy Allies squad
Jackson Callow (North Launceston), Sam Collins (North Hobart), Oliver Davis (Clarence), Jared Dakin (Launceston), Mitch O’Neill (North Hobart) and Will Peppin (North Hobart) have all been named in the squad that is made up of the best young talent from New South Wales / Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Northern Territory and Tasmania.
Dakin, O’Neill and Peppin, meanwhile, all impressed as part of Tasmania’s undefeated Division 2 under-18 Academy Series campaign, with O’Neill also playing for the Allies at the Division 1 Championships, for an Australian representative side against New Zealand and for ‘Team Riewoldt’ as part of the NAB All-Stars game at the MCG on Grand Final day.
The expanded NAB AFL Academy program will now see 150 players from across the country engage in high performance camps conducted across five regions – South Australia, Vic Country, Vic Metro, Western Australia and the Allies.
The Academies will come together for their first camps in the coming weeks with the Allies training camp being held between December 3-14, 2018.
Three-time Brisbane Lions premiership player Luke Power will again coach the Allies, while AFL Head of Talent Tristan Salter said it is an exciting time for the country’s best young talent.
“The new approach to the national Academy will ensure more of our most talented players have access to AFL facilities, while receiving the best quality coaching, high performance and wellbeing services in the country,” he said.
“Importantly these players will spend more time in their home state, with year-round first-class support that will enhance their opportunity to perform at an elite level through the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
“I congratulate all who have been named in squads today and I look forward to watching their development over the next 12-24 months.”
The best Under-17 and Under-18 players from the state academies will also have the opportunity to attend national camps. This will be overseen by Marcus Ashcroft and Luke Power. These activities include:
December 2018 Under-17 Futures Game players to spend a week at an AFL club
April 2019 Best 25 Under-18 players to represent Australia against VFL opposition
April 2019 Best 25 Under-17 players to represent Australia against New Zealand
September 2019 Under-17 Futures Game – played on Toyota AFL Grand Final Day
Since 1997 490 Academy players (81% of NAB AFL Academy players) have been drafted to AFL clubs.